A concoction of love and lust can be quite ethereal and also very difficult to find. But the lustful beaches and love-evoking town of Kovalam in Kerala can truly give you this heady mix of both. Located in Malabar Coast along the Kerala shoreline, Kovalam is world famous for its beautiful and secluded beaches and only once when you go there, you realise that a place like this can actually exist in reality.
Kovalam in Malayalam means a grove of coconut trees, and when you look around the town it truly justifies its name. From up north to down south, the town is full of coconut trees that cuddles the calm and wide expanse of the blue water. On arriving at the Thiruvantapuram airport (the nearest to Kovalam), you get an essence of the quiet place that Kerala is. It takes 30 minutes to reach the town and the drive is a soothing one with the view of small Keralite cottages, flanked by coconut trees, on both sides of the road. Even as you enter the town, the sound of gushing waves welcomes you and the salty mist in the air makes you ask for more. Welcome to Kovalam.
There are primarily three beaches in Kovalam. The southern most beach, and the most popular, is the Lighthouse Beach, which is full of small eateries, hotels and many junk jewellery shops. The sound of breaking waves compete here with chatters of the gypsy-looking tourists.
The second beach is called Hawah, while the one in the northern most part is Samudra. The other small, but pretty, beach is the Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach, which is inside the premises of the Leela Kempinski property. Though it is not a private beach, but in-house guest have an access to it anytime of the day due to its proximity to the hotel. The hotel covers verdant acres and has a post office and government guesthouse in the premises. It is also Kerala’s largest beachside resort cradled between two sweeping beaches and divided into three wings — Pavillion, Sea View, and The Club, giving you the perfect sea view. This five star deluxe resort is the best place to stay if you are a luxury connoisseur, with a host of impeccable dining and entertainment options. A must try is Ayurveda Wellness Spa Divya in the property that will surely relax and rejuvenate your tired body.
Not so far away
If you are a day person then you may like a walk along the shore, kayaking, surfing, skiing or swimming in shallow water or simply sunbathing. Shopoholics can explore the handicrafts, jewellery and cloth shops that spread along the waterfront and some nearby villages. The delightful seafood and the Karimeen fish — a speciality from the region, found only in the back waters of Kerala — can tingle anybody’s taste buds.
In the evening one can go for Kathakali performances, the classical dance-drama of Kerala, with the help of the hotel management, who can guide with the right places to visit. Yoga, Ayurveda and meditation are synonymous with Kovalam as most hotels have atleast one of the facilities. For cheaper options standalone ayurveda centres are also available.
From Kovalam, you can go for a backwater cruise to the beautiful countrysides, the nearest being Poovar — 30 minutes from the town. The small and divine Poovar is a 45-km stretch as you paddle the country boats, enjoying its lush greenery. A few hotels even offer floating rooms at reasonable rates.
Also a short 16 km drive from Kovalam is the capital city of Trivandrum. It is worth visiting town as you can visit several interesting places like Napier Museum, Sri Chitra Art Gallery, Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Ponmudi Hills. If you have time on hand, then head for Kanyakumari — a three-hours drive from the town and relish the pleasure of touching the tip of the sub continent. Believe me, it’s priceless.